The duties and responsibilities of a salesman differ from one business to another depending upon the nature of the business, the size of the business, the type of selling job, the sales policies of the concern, etc. However, there are certain duties and responsibilities which are common to all types of business.
Functions, Duties and Responsibilities of a Salesman
1. Selling: The fundamental duty of a salesman is selling. This duty includes meeting the prospects, presenting and demonstrating the products, inducing the prospects to buy, taking orders and effecting sales.
2. Guiding the buyers,: A salesman should guide the buyers in buying the goods they want.
3. Attending to complaints: A salesman should attend to the complaints of the customers immediately and try to settle their grievances quickly and sincerely.
4. Collection of bills: Sometimes, a salesman may be required to collect the outstanding bills relating to the goods sold by him. In such a case, he has to collect the bills and remit the amount to his firm.
5. Collection of credit information: A salesman may, sometimes, be required to collect information about the credit-worthiness of the customers. In such a case, he has to collect detailed information and submit it to his firm in time.
6. Reporting: A salesman, especially a traveling salesman, is required to send daily, weekly or monthly reports to his firm, providing information about the calls made, sales effected, services rendered, route schedule, expenses incurred, business conditions, competition, if any, etc.
7. Organizing: A salesman, i.e., a traveling salesman, is required to organize his tour programme. He has to prepare the route and time schedules for his tour so as to systematize his sales efforts.
8. Attending sales meetings: A salesman is required to attend the sales meetings convened by his employer at periodical intervals to discuss the marketing problems, sales promotion activities, sales policies, etc.
9. Touring: A traveling salesman, has to undertake touring regularly to cover the sales territories assigned to him.
10. Arranging for packing and delivery: A salesman, i.e., a counter salesman, has to arrange for the packing of the goods sold and the delivery of the packages to the buyers.
11. Window and counter displays: A salesman, i.e., an indoor or counter salesman, has to arrange for the window and counter displays of the products in an attractive manner so as to attract or induce the prospects to buy.
12. Promotion of goodwill: Every salesman has to build up satisfied clientele (i.e., customers) for his employer and thereby promote the goodwill of his firm.
13. Recruiting and Training: Recruiting new salesmen, imparting training, by accompanying them while making sales calls.
14. Working with Middlemen: Salesmen establish direct relations with middlemen — distributors, wholesalers, etc., and collect market information and pass it on to their firm.